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21 The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth:
and as a storm hurleth him out of his place. 22 For God shall cast upon him, and not spare:
He would fain flee out of his hand. 23 Men shall clap their hands at him,
and hiss him out of his place.
C. Declaration that true Wisdom, which alone can secure real well-being, and a correct solution of the
dark enigmas of man's destiny, is to be found nowhere on earth, but only with God, and by means
of a pious submission to God. Chap. xxviii. 1 Surely there is a vein for the silver,
and a place for gold where they fine it. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth.
and brass is molten out of the stone. 3 He setteth an end to darkness,
and searcheth out all perfection :
the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death. 4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitants ;
even the waters forgotten of the foot:
they are dried up, they are gone away from men. 5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread :
and under it is turned up as it were fire. 6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires :
and it hath dust of gold. 7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth,
and which the vulture's eye hath not seen. 8 The lion's whelps have not trodden it
nor the fierce lion passed by it. 9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; 10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks ;
and his eye seeth every precious thing.
he overturneth the mountains by the roots. 11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing ;
and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light. 12 But where shall wisdom be found ?
and where is the place of understanding ? 13 Man knoweth not the price thereof:
neither is it found in the land of the living. 14 The depth saith, It is not in me;
and the sea saith, It is not with me. 15 It cannot be gotten for gold,
neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. 16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir,
with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. 17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it:
and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold 18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls ;
for the price of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it,
neither shall it be valued with pure gold. 20 Whence then cometh wisdom ?
and where is the place of understanding? 21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living,
and kept close from the fowls of the air. 22 Destruction and death say,
we have heard the fame thereof with our ears. 23 God understandeth the way thereof,
and He knoweth the place thereof.
24 For He looketh to the ends of the earth,
and seeth under the whole heaven ; 25 to make the weight for the winds;
and He weigheth the waters by measure. 26 When He made a decree for the rain,
and a way for the lightning of the thunder ; 27 Then did He see it, and declare it;
He prepared it, yea, and searched it out. 28 And unto man He said:
Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
God, and the closest union with Him (ch. xxviii.). EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.
- These three sections are differently divided, 1. Inasmuch as the opposition of the friends
the two former consisting of three short strois silenced, before the last of the number
| phes (of three to five verses), the third of three attempts a third reply, the victor, after a short
long strophes (two of eleven, and one of six
verses). pause, takes up his discourse, “in order that,
2. First Section: The asseveration of his innoby collecting himself after the passion of the
cence: ch. xxvii. 2-10. strife, he might express with greater calmness
First Strophe: verg. 2-4.-As God liveth and clearness the convictions which have been formed within him as results of the colloquy
(lit. “living is God!” a well-known Hebrew,
and also Arabic formula of adjuration) (the only thus far, and 80 to give to the colloquy the
| place where Job resorts to the oath), who hath internal solution which was wanting” (Dillm.). It is not so much a triumphant self-contempla
taken away from me my right, and the tion, or a pathetic monologue, that he delivers, |
Almighty who bath vexed my soul; lit. but a genuine didactic discourse, addressed to the
“who hath made bitter my soul” (LXX.: ó vanquished friends, which, like the discourses
Trikpboas, comp. Col. iii. 19: Terpníveoval).
Ver. 3. For still all my breath is in me, of the previous discussion, is cast in the form,
and God's breath is in my nostrils, i. e. I characteristic of the Chokmah, of a series of proverbs. It is hence expressly termed in the
| am still possessed of enough freshness and vigor introductory verse (ch. xxvii. 1) a continuation
of spirit to know what I say, to be a responsible of the “ Masbal, i. e. of the proverbial discourse"
witness in behalf of my innocence. The older
expositors, and among the moderns Schlottmann (in regard to sun nab, “to utter, lit. to raise [Good, Noyes, Conant, Bernard, Carey, Rodwell, a proverb;" comp. Num. xxiii. 7, where the Elzas, Renan, Mers, and so E. V.) take the same expression is applied to a prophetic vatici-|
verse not as a parenthetic reason for the adjura
tion in ver. 2, but as the antecedent of ver. 4: nium of Balaam's). ["sun is speech of a more so long as my breath is yet in me," ete. But elevated tone and more figurative character; in that case the contents of the oath would hare here, as frequently, the unaffected outgrowth a double introduction, first by '?, then by DX. of an elevated solemn mood. The introduction Moreover the words ] nowtiy-2, as the of the ultimatum as sun reminds one of “the parallel passages, 2 Sam. i. 9; Hos. xiv. 3, show, proverb (el-methel) seals it in the mouth of the have not in the least the appearance of an Arab, since in common life it is customary to adverbial antecedent determination of time. use a pitby saying as the final proof at the con- [The older rendering is certainly to be preferred. clusion of a speech." Delitzsch. 1-The follow-|1) It expresses a thought much more suitable ing are the contents of this proverbial discourse, | for incorporation into an oath. “As God lives which is somewhat extended, and which, espe- — while I live-I will speak only the truth"-is cially in its last principal division, is exceed natural. “As God lives—and I take this oath ingly lofty and poetio: (1) An emphatic asseve- because I am fully competent to stand up to ration of his own innocence, which he has made what I am swearing--my lips shall not, elc.repeatedly during the previous colloquy, and is decidedly unnatural. (2) The language at which he now puts forth as attested by his con- once suggests tbe simple idea of living_"breath tinued experience of God's friendship, and his (nu) yet in me—the breath of Eloah in my joy in God (ch. xxvii. 2-10); (2) A description nostril." This is scarcely the language one -imitating and surpassing the similar descrip-would use in describing a particular inward contions of the friends in chs. xv.; xviii.; xx., etc. dition. (3) '? is simply transitional, intro-of the fearful divine judgment, which must of ducing after the oath a thought preparatory to necessity overtake the ungodly, and in view of the principal thought introduced by DX, a conwhich he indeed has every reason to adhere ear.
struction which Delitzsch admits to be possible, nestly and zealously to God's ways (ch. xxvii. 11-23); (3) An exhibition of the nature of true
though wbat there is perplexing in it, it is diffi wisdom, which alone can furnish correct solu- cult to see. (4) is used adverbially as in tions of the dark enigmas of this earthly life, Ps. xxxix. 6; xlv. 14; Eccles. v. 15; hereand which is here set forth as a blessing abso- i “wholly as long as” (see Gesenius and Fürst). lutely supra-sensual, to be obtained only through It thus strengthens the expression in a way that
is altogether appropriate to the strong feeling | figurative expression: “cutting off the soul,” which prompts the oath.-E.]
bas always for its basis the same conception of Ver. 4 gives the contents of the oath, which the body as a tent, and of the internal thread the following verses unfold still more specifically of life as the tent-cord, which we came across and comprehensively. In regard to obvy, lit.
in ch. iv. 21. Possibly the expression: "draw.
ing out” has the same explanation, although " perverseness," hence “falsehood, untruthful
this seems to have rather for its basis the comness,” and its synonym 7??, comp. ch. xiii. 7. parison of the body to a sheath for the soul (Dan.
Second Strophe: vers. 6-7.-Far be it from vii. 15), so that accordingly we have a transime (lit. “for a profanation be it to me,” comp. tion from one figure to another. [E. V. (after Ew. & 329, a) to grant that you are in the the Vulgate, Syr., Targ.), Gesenius in Thes., right:-wherein is seen in the second member Fürst, Con., Ber., Merx, Rod., Elz., translate until I die I will not let my innocence | vyz,
vy?! ? “though he hath gained” scil. riches,
"though he hath gained” scil. rio be taken away from me (lit. “I will not let it depart from me''), i. e. I will not cease from
or though he despoil.” The meaning “to asserting it continually.
plunder” or “gain” is certainly more in harVer. 6. In regard to 77977 in a, meaning “to
mony with the usage of the verb in Kal, and
avoids the mixture of metaphor according to the let something go, to let it fall,” comp. ch. vii.
otber construction.-E.) 19.—My heart reproacheth not one of my
Vers. 9, 10. Will God hear his cry? ... days.-777, lit. "to pluck, to pick off,” carpere, Can be delight himself in the Almighty ? vellicare. 227 here is unquestionably synony etc. The meaning of these questions is that mous substantially with conscience," So
to him there shall be neither the hearing of his Luther translated it both here and in Josh. xiv.
prayers, nor a joyful, trustful and loving fellow7; comp. also 1 Sam. xxiv. 6 551; 2 Sam. xxiv, ship with God (Hynd as in ch. xxii. 26). Job 10, where it may also be translated “conscience” accordingly claims for himself both these things (see in general Vilmar, Theolog. Moral. I., p. 66). (comp. ch. xiii. 16), and thereby leaves out of Most modern commentators rightly take i? in the account transient obscurations of his spirit, por, as partitive-"one of my days;" the tem like that in consequence of which he mourns
(ch. xix. 7) that his prayer is not heard. poral rendering of the expression adopted by The ancients, as also by Ewald (=while I live, Ihle overthrow of the wicked: vers. 11-23.
3. Second Section: Description of the inevita
The in omni vita mea, Vulg.) [E. V.], necessitates the harsh and scarcely admissible rendering of 9201.)
striking correspondence which this description
by Job seems at first sight to exhibit with the as intransitive, or as reflexive ( does not blame
well-known descriptions of the friends, especially itself," Ewald) [E. V. supplies “me''). It in the second series of the colloquy. and remains to be said, that this asseveration of notwithstanding the fact that Job himself only innocence (like that in ch. xxiii. 10 seq.) is, in
just before, in chs. xxi. and xxiv., has mainsome measure, exaggerated, when compared tained the happiness of the wicked to the end with the mention which Job makes earlier of
of their life, have led some to assume a transpo“the sins of his youth,” ch. xiii. 26.
sition, or confusion of the text (Kennicott, StuhlVer. 7. Mine enemy must appear as the mann, Bernstein, [Bernard, Wemyss, Elzas); wicked, and mine adversary as the un comp. Introd. & 9, 1); others, to suppose that righteous: viz. as the penalty of their falsely Job is here simply repeating the opinion of his suspecting and disputing my innocence. Only opponents, without purposing to make it his this optative rendering of the Jussive 'n?! is
own (Eichhorn, Das Buch Mob übers., etc., 1824; suited to the context, not the concessive: “though Böckel, 2d Ed. 1830). But the contradiction to mine enemy be an evil-doer, I am none" (Hirz.). | Job's former utterances is only apparent, for:
|(1) The opinion that the prosperity of the wicked As to oppno, comp. ch. xx. 27; Ps. lix. 2.
cannot endure has been repeatedly put forth (“The idea conveyed in 38 is hostility of feel even by himself, at least in principle (comp. ch.
xxi. 16; xxiii. 15; xxiv. 12; comp. also below ing; in oppno, hostility of action, and that ini
ch. xxxi. 3 seq.). (2) The erroneous and objectiative. It is, to some extent, expressive of tionably one-sided utterances regarding God as unprovoked assault.” Carey.]
a hard-hearted persecutor of innocence, and Third Strophe : vers. 8-10.-For what is the author of the prosperity of many evil-doers, hope of an ungodly man when He cutteth which he has heretofore frequently put forth, off, when Eloah draweth out his soul ?- needed to be counteracted by the truths which This question is to be understood from the two supplement and rectify these one-sided errors. former discourses of Job, in which, when con- (3) It was of importance to Job, not so much to fronting death, he placed his hope with animated instruct the friends in regard to the fact that emphasis on God, as his final deliverer and the impending destruction of the ungodly was avenger (chs. xvii. and xix.). In contrast with certain--for that they had long known this fact such a joyful hope reaching out beyond death, is expressly set forth in ver. 12-as rather to the evil-doer has nothing more to hope for, when | place this phenomenon in the right light, in once God has cut off his thread of life, and opposition to the perverted application which drawn out his soul out of the mortal body they had made of it, and to exhibit its profound
connection with the order of the universe as enclosing it (98. Imperf. apoc. Kal. from 1778,
established by the only wise God. This end he extrahere, cognate with she and 501). The accomplishes by subsequently introducing a
description of true wisdom and understanding, the apparent contradiction in Job's speeches, a treasure deeply hidden, and to be possessed the interchange of words would have been endonly through the fear of God, and humble sub- less;” or as Delitzsch has stated it: “ Had Job's mission to Him.—This is the end which Job has stand-point been absolutely immovable, the conin view in the present discourse. It is not troversy could not possibly have come to a well. necessary (with Brentius and others of the older adjusted decision, which the poet must have expositors, also Schlottmann) to find in it a planned, and which he also really brings about, warning purpose, i, e., the purpose to set before by causing his hero still to retain an imperturthe friends the end of those who judge unjustly, bable consciousness of bis innocence, but also and who render unfriendly decisions, with a allowing his irritation to subside, and his exview of terrifying them- purpose of which treme harshness to become moderated.” there is nowhere any indication, and for which (4) In the particular passage before us, Job's there would seem to be no particular motive, utterance is to be explained largely in the light Beeing that the discussion has come to an end, of the victory which he has just achieved. In and that any attempt to move the vanquished the hour of triumph a great soul is moderate, opponents by warnings would be cruelly and calm, just. So here Job shows the greatness of most injuriously at variance with the concilia- his strength by conceding to the friends the tory mildness which this last discourse of Job's truth in their position, and by stating that truth elsewhere breathes.
with a power equal to their own. It is a massa. The attempts to relieve the difficulty con- terly touch of the poet's art that shows itself nected with the passage before us by changing here in this picture of a great soul in the hour and transposing the text are arbitrary and of victory. unsatisfactory, producing abrupt connections, or (5) There is, however, as suggested above by rather breaks, and a confusion of thought and Zöckler, a still more conscious and controlling impression more serious than that which it is purpose in the following description. Job de sought to remove.
scribes the certain destruction of the wicked, b. Especially does it betray a total want of not mainly in the way of 'concession to the appreciation of the author's skill in managing i friends, but rather for his own vindication. The the plot and development of the drama to force friends had portrayed such descriptions to show in Zophar for a third speech. The logical and how much there are in the evil-doer's fate to rhetorical exhaustion of the friends could not remind of Job's calamities. Job takes up the well be more effectively indicated than by the theme to show how unlike his fate, with all its way in which the colloquy on their part tapers tragic lineaments, and the abandoned sioner's. and dwindles—first in the short, and so far as He still holds fast to his righteousness, is heard ideas are concerned, poverty-stricken speech of by God, delights in God, is on terms of intimacy Bildad, and finally in the complete dumbness of with God, is competent to instruct in bebalf of Zophar, perhaps of all three the most consum- | God ;-the wicked man has a very different pormate master of words.
tion with God! As ever therefore Job is not c. The theory that Job is here going over the merely eloquent, but cogent; and when he ground of the friends, and repeating their posi- accepts their conclusions, it is to overwhelm tion, is disproved negatively by the absence of them yet more completely with their own arguanything to indicate such a course, and posi- ments.-E.] tively by the straightforward earnestness and First Strophes: vers. 11-13. Introduction to deep feeling which pervade the passage, as well the following description. as by what he says in the introductory verses Ver. 11. I will teach you concerning 11, 12.
God's hand: i. e. concerning His doings, His d. Regarded as Job's own earnest affirmations
mode of working. In regard to ? with verbs the following considerations should be borne in
of teaching or instructing, comp. Ps. xxv. 8, 12; mind.
xxxii. 8; Prov. iv. 11 (Ew. 8 217, j).-The (1) As shown above by Zöckler, isolated state
mind of the Almighty will I not conceal ments have already proceeded in harmony with
from you: lit, “what is with the Almighty, the representation given here. At the same
that which forms the contents of His thoughts time it cannot be denied that this is much the
and counsels;" comp. ch. x. 13; xxiii. 10, eie. most extended and emphatic expression by Job
Ver. 12. See now, all ye yourselves of the view here set forth, and that it is in forms much more nearly allied to the representations
(ong emphatic] have seen it, have become of the friends. But:
familiar with it by observation (77in, as in.ch. (2) It is no part of the poet's plan to preserve xv. 17), so that ye do not need to learn the thing Job's unalterable consistency. Job's experiences itself, but only to acquire a more correct, are most various, and his utterances change unprejudiced understanding of it. The second with them. They strike each various chord of member points to the latter: “and why are ye sorrow, joy, doubt, confidence, despair, hope, then vain with vanity ?" i. e. so altogether vain, fear, yearning, victory. Through all it is true so completely entangled in perverse delusion ? there is an underlying unity and identity of (Ew. 8 281, a). character; but the variations exist, and are full Ver. 13 announces the theme treated of in the of dramatic interest and importance, and yet passage following, in words which purposely more of sacred practical suggestiveness.
convey a reminder of the language used by one (3) These inconsistencies still further prepare of the opponents, Zophar, at the close of his disthe way for a termination and solution of the course (cb. xx. 29). controversy. As Umbreit has shown, “without Second Strophe : vers. 14–18. The judgment,
upon the family, possessions, and homestead of | nan, Rodwell, Merx]. The renderings based on the evil-doer.
the reading 908" **! are not so good; as, e.g., Ver. 14. If his children multiply (it is)
"and yet nothing is taken away” (Schnurr., for the sword. Jin-in sc. 107. In respect Umbreit, Stick. [Elzas, Wemyss : “but he shall to in?, found only in Job, comp. ch. xxix. 21;
take nothing away"); and he is not buried”
(Ralbag, Rosenmüller, Schlottmann) [Noyes, Xxxviii. 40; xl. 4 (Ew. & 221, b).
È. V.; "he shall not be gathered,” and so Con., Ver. 15. The remnant of those who are his Lee, Scott, etc. Carey explains the familiar shall be buried by the pestilence.-1'77W' phrase, “to be gathered (to one's fathers, etc.)," chis escaped ones" (comp. chap. xx. 21, 26), are not of being buried in the grave, but of being rethe descendants still remaining to him, after that moved to the place of spirits. The objections to the sword and famine have already thinned their referring the clause to the rich man's burial, as ranks. This remainder the Pestilence will carry stated by Delitzsch, are, that the preceding off, that third destroying angel, in addition to strophe has already referred to his not being the sword and famine, mentioned also in Jer. I buried, and that the relation of the two parts of xiv. 12: XV. 2: xviii. 21; 2 Sam. xxiv. 13; Lev. the verse in this interpretation is unsatisfactory]. xxvi. 25 seg. Here, as also in Jer. xv. 2, this is The same may be said of the reading 908" *21, simply designated "deata (A); and by me wand takes not with him” (Jerome, and some phrase, “in death (or by deatb) they are buried,” MSS.). Openeth his eyeg-and is gone! allusion is made to the quick succession of death (comp. chap. xxiv. 24).-This further description and burial, which is customary in such epidemics of the sudden end of the wicked relates to the (comp. Amos vi. I seq.). This bold and truly morning, the time of awakening, as the preceding doetic thought is destroyed if, with Böttcher, we clause refers to the evening hour of going to take nipa to mean in momento mortis, or if, with bed. Olshausen SMerx). we arbitrarily insert a rs Ver. 20. The multitude of terrors (i. e., the before 1727: [Carey explains: “They shall be $u
2 sudden terrors of death; comp. chap. xviii. 14;
xx. 25) like the waters (like the torrents of a sepulchred by Death. This is literal, and a bold sudden over
This is literal, and a bold sudden overflow-comp. chap. xx. 28; Jer. xlvii. figure, by which is signified that they should 2; Ps. xviii. 5 541) overtakes him (a'wn, 3d bave no other burial than such as Death should give them on the open field, where they had Perf. sing. fem. referring to the plur. n1072; fallen, either by sword or by famine." This, comp. chap. xiv. 19). On b comp. chap. xxi. however, is somewhat too artificial and modern]. 18." And his widows weep not-to wit, in fol. Ver. 21. Further descriptive expansion of the lowing the coffin, because by reason of the fright- figure of a tempest: The east wind lifteth ful raging of the disease, funeral solemnities are him up. This wind being elsewhere frequently not observed. “His widows" may mean both described as particularly violent and descripthe principal wives and concubines of the head tive; comp. chap. i. 19; xv. 2; xxxviii. 24; Isa. of the family, and those of his deceased sons and
xxvii. 8; Ezek. xxvii. 26. Concerning 73, ut grandsons; these latter even, in a certain sense, belonging to him, the patriarch. Comp. the lite- pereat, comp. chap. xiv. 20; xix. 10. ral repetition of this member in Ps. lxxviii. 64, Ver. 22. The subj. of 500 can be only God. where the twofold possibility mentioned here is
the secret Author of the whole judgment of wrath not recognized, because the
1 x there refers here described. Of Him it is said: He hurleth to the people,” Dy.
upon him without sparing-to wit, arrows; Ver. 16. If he heapeth up for himself sil-/ compo (np. av. ver as the dust, etc.—The same figures used jectless 7707="to shoot," see Num. xxxv. 20. to designate material regarded as worthless on Before His hand must he flee-lit. “must he account of its great quantity in Zech. ix. 3. fleeing flee.”—The Inf. Absol. expresses the
Ver. 17. A podosis to the preceding verse, ex- strenuousness and yet the futility of his various pressing the same thought as, e.g., Ps. Xxxvii. attempts to flee (Del.: "before His band he fleeth 29, 34; Eccles. ii. 16.
hither and thither”). Ver. 18. He hath built, like a moth, his Ver. 23. They clap their hands at him house, and like a booth, which a watch-rejoicing at his calamity and mocking him; man puts up (in a vineyard, or an orchard, comp. chap. xxxiv. 37; Lam. ii. 15; Nah, iii. 19. Isa. i. 8). The point of comparison for both members is the laxity, frailty, destructibility of The plural suffixes in 13?and 1993 are used such structures, which are intended to be broken poetically for the sing., as in chap. xx. 23; xxii. up soon.
12. “The accumulation of the terminations émo Third Strophe: Vers. 19-23. He lieth down and ómo gives a tone of thunder and a gloomy rich, and doeth it not again.--So according impress to this conclusion of the description of
judgment, as these terminations frequently ooto the reading 708 X (=70'), which already cur in the book of Psalms, where moral deprathe LXX. (kal ou apood hoel), Itala, and Pesh. vity is mourned and divine judgment threatened followed, which is favored by parallel passages, (e. 9., in Psalms xvii.; xlix.; lviii.; lix.; lxxiii).” such as chap. xx. 9; xl. 5, and is accordingly DEL. They hiss him out of his place-s0 preferred by the leading modern commentators, that he must leave his dwelling-place (comp. such as Ewald, Hirzel, Delitzsch, Dillmann [Re-chap. viii. 18) in the midst of scorn and hissing
d to th